September 15, The Longest Day of the Year

For thirteen hours I traveled.

For thirteen hours I was in and out and on and off public transportation, all so I could get that one magical item that unlocks just about everything in Korea.

As you know, I had to apply for my D10 visa in Seoul and for reasons unclear to me, I was also required to return to Seoul to pick it up. No mailing options available.

Plane tickets were both fastest and cheapest so for 40,000 won (about $30) I bought a round-trip ticket to Seoul. Domestic flying is very straightforward in Korea and Busan check-in plus security took less than five minutes, then I was free to buy coffee and stare at an eight foot painting of horses.

Being in Seoul again was not strange; I knew the layout well and the cacophony of buildings and gray smog were familiar.

I did make the mistake of getting on a local bus to get back to the subway station. Local buses, unlike city buses, do not go in a circle or straight line. Their routes look like a drunkard trying to make his way home.

I got on the green bus and started to worry when it exited from the main road and kept getting farther and farther from the expected route.

My phone of course was also on one percent battery. I made a hasty exit at a stop near enough to the subway and felt lucky I knew the way back to the airport without the support of gadgets.

It was tiring but there were perks: I got to use my five dollar coupon at the bakery across from immigration that I got there two weeks ago; the train ride to and from Busan airport is beautiful; I thought again about how grateful I am to be in Busan.

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